Blackhawks, Niklas Hjalmarsson Agree to 5-Year Extension

On Wednesday morning, the money kept flowing at the United Center. The Blackhawks officially announced a five-year extension with defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, which will keep him in Chicago through the 2018-19 season.

Pierre LeBrun is reporting the deal has a $4.1 million cap hit.

Hjalmarsson

Hjalmarsson, 26, has been a member of both the 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup championship rosters and emerged as a legit top-tier defenseman during the 2013 regular season and playoffs. After the last Cup victory, Hjalmarsson signed a surprising offer sheet with the San Jose Sharks that was matched by GM Stan Bowman. This time, he gets a five-year deal to stay in Chicago.

As is the case with the new deal given to Corey Crawford, Hjalmarsson’s new contract begins at the start of the 2014-15 season.

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36 Responses to Blackhawks, Niklas Hjalmarsson Agree to 5-Year Extension

  1. BigSmokej says:

    wow bowman is locking guys up big time. He must have a good idea what the cap will be going forward. I like it.

  2. Sr. Brad says:

    Its Hammer time…Nick deserved this…in many ways he’s our best DMan because his stay at home style, and quick transition game lends itself to every other DMan on our roster…so more than anyone else, Hammer can be plugged and played, which is incredibly valuable…and remember this, outside of Shaw, no one took more cheap shots throughout the post season to consistently make plays to protect the puck or clear the zone…in a very quiet, unassuming way Hammer is a monster DMan for the Hawks and well deserved of this contract.

    Now, as to the amount, we don’t know the details yet…but 2 things become abundantly clear…one, Bowman knows with certainty that the Cap will be going up, and not just next year, but over the next few years…he knows that he has the room to make these moves and still be able to sign Shaw, Saad, Toews and Kane…and two, Bowman knows that the spending frenzy that occured this summer through FA is going to continue…so to those of us trying to make sense of the Crawford deal, or this one once the #’s are revealed, shouldn’t be looking back to compare, but seeing what is coming next…the dollars spent this summer on marginal DMen alone was staggering…so how much would Hammer be worth as a FA next year with say 3 SC wins under his belt??? $7 or $8 miilion at least…

    Bowman is making these moves now to ensure that he can keep the core together, and all of this is possible because of how well he has DRAFTED…you can create and pay a core group if you know for certain that you have the organizational talent to simply plug and play to fill any holes…this will keep us competing for Cup after Cup all the while staying under the Cap.

  3. Phil says:

    I like the move. #4 was once again the player we thought he could be last year. He is entering the top producing years we can expect from a quality defense-man. Clearly, some cap space is going to be granted, otherwise these fast signings would not be taking place. We have a very solid team set to take the ice to begin the 2013-2014 season. Barring injuries to key guys, we should challenge for the Cup again in a big way. Solid 2 way hockey wins championships and that is the formula for success here in Chicago. Q has the ship in the right direction, and he has the horses to get us over the finish line on paper. Now if they could just get that power play to be more productive…

  4. southsidehawkman says:

    I was down on Hammer going into last season. He really rebounded. So now Keith, Leddy, and Hammer are here for the long term. Seabs has 1 season I think. Nothing wrong w locking up your defensive core.

  5. scottie p says:

    Hossa buy out all but a guarantee

  6. Tab Bamford says:

    re: continued Hossa buyout talk – just a friendly reminder that the Blackhawks do NOT have a compliance buyout remaining. Any buyout of Hossa would come with a cap penalty at this point.

  7. Tails says:

    This is a great deal. Only $4M for a defender who played like a top pairing player last season. At this point, I have to think Seabrook will be traded next offseason.

  8. Sr. Brad says:

    What a lot of people forget is that on Dave Bolland’s SC winning goal against Boston, it all started because of a great, agressive transition play by Hammer at our blue line…that play led to the SC winning goal…

    Hammer is what allows Oduya to be a Top 4 DMan…

    And now we learn that the average Cap hit for another 6 years of Hammer is $4.1 million…nice work Stan, that’s going to look like a STEAL in another year.

  9. Tab Bamford says:

    When Hjalmarsson’s deal begins in 2014-15, there will be 40 (FORTY) defensemen with a higher cap number. And there will undoubtedly be more with higher cap numbers in 12 months.

    If you thought the Hawks overpaid Crawford, this should settle you down. $10M combined for Hjalmarsson & Crawford is a VERY reasonable number… even if you didn’t expect Crawford to make up $6M of the $10M.

  10. JS says:

    It looks like a steal now, Brad!

    I think Oduya would be the most likely candidate to be moved now.

    Apparently Hammer either REALLY wanted to stay in Chicago, or he has the worst agent in pro sports. That guy would have made so many dollars on the open market.

  11. Morrison says:

    Thats what I am talking about. I would have thought 5.5 & 5 for the 2 would be good.

    BEAUTY, Bowman.

  12. EbonyRaptor says:

    OH
    MY
    GAWD

    All hail Stan!

  13. JS says:

    PS, how great is it to be a Hawks fan?

  14. Richard Masinter says:

    Stan must feel like Michael Corleone at the christening!

  15. Peter says:

    This is an incredible deal for the Hawks. I wonder if he told them he wanted to stay in Chicago at all costs and got this. $4.1 million is a lot of money, don’t get me wrong but he would have made so much more on the open market. I don’t know the nationality of his wife, but he just got married this summer and maybe wants to stay in one place. And I think he genuinely likes Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Bickell (groomsman at his wedding) and wants to be around them for awhile. I don’t know the details of the contract either (if a no trade/no movement clause), but at 4.1 million he will probably be here for the duration of his deal.

    Bowman must know the cap is going to go way up soon. Additionally, this is a great way to get Toews and Kane to stay; and at a lower than market rate. He can tell them he locked these players up because the Blackhawks are about winning.

    Finally, Hammer played great all year. He really deserves this. During the regular season he was the best D-Man. Keith went crazy Norris good in the playoffs, but who took his spot when he got his stupid suspension…Hammer…who was asked to switch D-Man sides this year…and played the same spot as Seabrook for the first time in years…and then gets asked to switch back for one game…a tightly contested game which the Hawks won. The team player got rewarded and gets to stay on a good team. I love it.

  16. Mike says:

    Excellent……I hope Hammer is a happy as Crawford seems to be.

  17. scottie p says:

    Tab- well if the buyout penalty isn’t an option what is? Seabrook trade? I don’t see how they can get under. Is Bowman just gambling and assuming there will be a significant increase in the cap? And what if there isnt?

  18. wall says:

    Kinda agree w/ JS- IF Hawks have to move a D man soon- it would be Oduya- because Clendening would be next in line and “plays” a similar game.

    Two Things I take from these signings-

    1.) Cap is going to be $72M + in two years
    2.) the Teams fought for lengthening RFA terms on Youngsters… It would be in the Owner’s best interests to “control” these contracts by not overbidding or making offers on RFA’s- In short- I don’t see a lot of offers on RFA’s- outside of the Controlling Team going forward. Guys like Shaw and Saad will be playing for less than market… until they are UFA’s!!!

  19. Tab Bamford says:

    @scottie – if the Blackhawks want to buyout Hossa THEY CAN, but they can’t do it without cap consequences. Each organization was granted two amnesty buyouts that would take contracts off the cap. Chicago used those on Montador & Olesz already. So if they wanted to buy out Hossa at some point in the future, it would be a traditional buyout with a smaller $ amount (but longer in years) cap hit.

  20. Andrew Raven says:

    Great comments across the board! Wow, I love it! Great to see that the Hawks are committed to Hammer long-term. He’s a true Viking, very smart d-man, very dependable and virtually indestructable like the good old Crown Vic. He’s the kind of player you don’t trade because he’s a proven winner and does all the little things right. That’s what separates world-class players from average-NHL d-men.

  21. Sr. Brad says:

    JS/Wall, for sure its Oduya…I believe he has 1 more year on his current deal…Clendening could likely play this year, but will be a stud in 2 years…he’s going to be a crucial piece to the Hawks success moving forward, as he will also become our PP point specialist, this is someone we haven’t had since Keith was decent at it in 2010. So in 2 years time that’s THREE new YOUNG Hawk defenders playing for little money…

    Clendening
    Stanton
    Johns

    That’s why we can spend this kind of money…plus in 2 years, TT is in the lineup at a lower cost as well, likely Danault too…maybe Ross and McNeil.

    That’s why JS says its so great to be a Hawks fan…we are loaded from top to bottom with an embarrassment of riches waiting to go…

  22. Sr. Brad says:

    A lot of people are asking why Hammer would take $20.5 million over 5 years and I think it’s quite clear…he wants to be a Hawk…people of Chicago should take that as a major compliment…I think what probably happened over the last couple of days was Bowman approached Nik and said we would like to extend you but all we can afford is a $4.1 million cap hit…does this work for you? Hjarlmarsson probably thought about it over night and obviously said yes…$20 million to play in Chicago until 2019 with a chance a winning more Cups is not something to sluff off…would you rather have $26 million from the Islanders???

  23. EbonyRaptor says:

    While you and I, as fans, shook our heads and tsk-tsk’d the early free agent signings this summer because the money being thrown around seemed to fly in the face of the supposed reason for the lockout, that being to get control of player salaries and shift more of the revenue back from the players to the owners. Hockey Related Revenue (HRR) is now split evenly between players and owners which was supposed to result in a slow down of player salary escalation. At least that’s what I and many (most?) other fans thought.

    But then the evidence that something wasn’t adding up started to pile up. At first, the seemingly excessive spending may have been attributed to a rogue GM or two who were going for it now to save their jobs with the thought of letting the next guy clean up the mess if it didn’t work out. But then it kept happening and the realization came that they can’t all be idiots. Well the coup de grace to that notion came yesterday and today when Stan Bowman added $10M to the Hawks salary cap for the next 5-6 years. Stan Bowman may or may not be a “good hockey guy”, but what he is is an accountant who knows the numbers. And he is no idiot. The Crawford and Hjalmarsson extensions are as close to a guarantee as you’ll get that the salary cap is going up considerably over the next few years, at least as far as Stan and the other GMs are convinced.

    So, now that the notion that the brakes were going to be applied to player salaries has been tsk-tsk’d, is there some math that would support a more accelerated salary cap growth than what we were expecting? I saw wildly different salary cap projections over the past few months, but the more conservative, and thereby supposedly more realistic were something aound $2M to $3M per year. Meaning the best case would be a $70M cap going into 2015/16 … meaning the Hawks would be hard pressed to re-sign Toews and Kane, let alone Crawford, Hjalmarsson, Shaw, Saad, Leddy, Kruger and others. A dire situation indeed. But the $3M salary cap increase per year is based on a 4.5% increase in HRR which is no where near the trand line of HRR growth over the past 4 to 5 seasons. The latest full season (2011/12) saw HRR grow 9.3% over the previous year, which resulted in the salary cap going from $64.3M (in 2011/12) to $70.3M (in 2012/13) – a $6M jump in one year. Furthermore, the 9.3% growth in 2011/12 is not an outlier, it is only marginally higher than the HRR growth pattern over the past 5 years. Based on that trend alone, not even considering other factors that could increase revenue, such as the new CBC deal and possible league expansion, it is pretty easy to project what the salary cap will be based on various growth rates.

    Remembering that the 2013/14 salary cap is an arbitrary one-time number that is not related to HRR, we can use the salary cap from 2012/13 ($70.3M based on 57% of HRR) to set a baseline using the new CBA 50/50 split of HRR (($70.3 /.57) * .50), which gives us $61.7M. That is what the 2012/13 salary cap would have been under the new 50/50 split. Using the adjusted 2012/13 salary cap as a baseline, the following table shows the projected salary cap for the next several seasons, based on various HRR growth rates:

    @6%: 2013/14 ($65.4M), 2014/15 ($69.3M), 2015/16 ($73.4M), 2016/17 ($77.9M)

    @7%: 2013/14 ($66.0M), 2014/15 ($70.6M), 2015/16 ($75.6M), 2016/17 ($80.8M)

    @8%: 2013/14 ($66.6M), 2014/15 ($71.9M), 2015/16 ($77.7M), 2016/17($83.9M)

    @9%: 2013/14 ($67.2M), 2014/15 ($73.3M), 2015/16 ($79.9M), 2016/17($87,0M)

    If HRR slows down to 6%, it might get a little tight, but anything 7% and above should provide enough cap room to sign all the players listed above.

  24. Sr. Brad says:

    Here’s what Hammer just had to say about his new deal and the City of Chicago, enjoy…

    But Hjalmarsson didn’t want to test free-agent waters, and it wasn’t about going elsewhere and potentially getting a bigger payday – “I make a lot of money. I don’t have to think about that too much,” he said.

    No, the 26-year-old Hjalmarsson, who got married at the end of July, wanted to stay “home”; and his new contract is just one more thing to celebrate in a summer that’s had its share of them.

    “It’s been a pretty unbelievable summer, that’s for sure. It’s going to be tough to top this one,” he said via conference call. “Me and my wife get to stay in Chicago for six more years. I love the city, the people of Chicago, and playing at (the United Center) in front of 23,000 every game is really inspiring. We have a team that can compete for the Cup every year. I really wanted to stay, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to that.”

  25. Sr. Brad says:

    Thanks for that ER…great stuff…and I agree the money will be there to complete the necessary signings over the next 2 years.

  26. RyanDale says:

    sure glad he ‘stayed’ the first time, and now again. great day for Chi

  27. Windy City Z says:

    How great is it that the Hawks actually get to keep the team together this time.

    Instead of having to dismantle the team the Hawks are reloaded and ready to defend the Cup. Next year Hawks have 14 players already locked up. Shaw is the only player that jumps out at me as MUST be resigned, and he is a RFA, so he will be back.

    RFA’s : Shaw, Pirri, Morin, Hayes, B. Smith, Raanta, D. Olsen,

    The amount of prospects the Hawks have coming is staggering! Pirri, TT, John, Holl, Clendening, Danault, Leblanc, Stanton, Paliotta, Olsen, etc, etc, etc.

    It’s good to be a Hawks fan these days, and it looks like for many years to come.

  28. Mike says:

    Yes….Yes…..Yes. But it would sure be nice to see this “embarrassment of riches” (no pun intended cause I agree) dominate at the AHL level. Rockford missed the playoffs last year even with a ton of talent that included the league’s high scorer and the life time AHL sniper St Pierre.

    Hawks-Stanley
    IceHogs- Calder

    That’s how to make 13-14 even better than 12-13

  29. wall says:

    ER- I was just told by a season ticket holder that Hawks raised his Tix 16% this year!!!

    If that is true- what does that do to your figures?????? Yikes- 16%!!!

  30. Sr. Brad says:

    Mike the purpose of the Ice Hogs is NOT to win the Calder Cup, but teach the kids how to play Blackhawks hockey…this is exactly what Scotty did in Detroit…Bowman said that the Hawks would like to see them make the playoffs each year, but that winning a Calder Cup was not the main goal…and I have to agree with him…this is why so many of these kids get called up and don’t seem to miss a beat…and this is how the coaches are evaluated as well, and why they brought the Ohio State coach in and got rid of their two assistants from last year.

  31. EbonyRaptor says:

    @wall – Yikes is right. 16% – GULP! Probably a lot of STH’s not happy with what that just did to their family budgets.

    Course, HRR is league wide so the Hawks ticket revenue is only one of 30 teams and whatever else gets rolled into HRR. But, with a 16% hike in ticket prices, no one can accuse the Hawks of not contributing to raising the salary cap :)

  32. IceHogst says:

    Arrrrgh. The next playoff game the Ice Hogs win will be their first in 6 years. There have been two, count ‘em two, home playoff games in 5 years. Which they lost. Are you kidding me? Learn Blackhawk hockey but make some friggin money for the ice hog organization.

    Pardon. I digress. Hammer extension is great in every conceivable way.

  33. Phil says:

    Oh yea, we got hit pretty hard with ticket price increases this summer. 16% why not? Two tickets in 231 end of the row center Club Level and its $10428 for me. This is high priced entertainment for sure, but at least we have a good team, and I am a proud season ticket holder attending most games. At this point in my life this is all a dream come true for this Hawks fan. It probably won’t get much better than this, so let’s enjoy the ride and appreciate what we have here.

  34. Mike says:

    Brad and Icehogst…..agree with you both. I know the main goal of the AHL is to ready players for the NHL and to have them assume some leadership exp at a young age. Brad, you know I am a HUGE fan of AHL developement. I am just saying it would be nice for the fans of that team to see their team make the playoffs. The Calder is just icing on the cake. I also think that a lot more Hawk fans from Chicago area would make the trip to Rockford to see a kick ass team……..

  35. Negzz says:

    Now THAT’S GREAT NEWS!! #4 agrees to $20 million for 5x years.. Here’s what I LOVE the MOST about his decision to sign this deal as quoted in the Trib:

    “Maybe I could have gotten more somewhere else but I make a lot of money so I don’t really have to think about that too much,” said Hjalmarsson, a solid defender who kills penalties, can lay a big hit and isn’t afraid to step in front of shots. “I really like playing for Chicago. I’ve been here for my whole career overseas and it pretty much feels like home. To imagine playing for a different team is tough for me because I feel so much for the city and for the team.”

  36. Sr. Brad says:

    I’m with you Mike…and I think the Hawks would love to win a Calder Cup for the City of Rockford, but the development of the Hawk players comes first…if a kid like TT spent a full year in Rockford, we might have a legitimate shot…this year that team is very, very young…however, Raanta is in net, so we should still be a good team.

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